Team Building Exercises and Activities
To make the learning and the team development process more effective, during the course of a workshop a number of team building exercises and activities can be used. These exercises are designed to be stimulating, informative and challenging.
We dispense with ineffective gimmicky team building activities and the ‘paralysis through analysis’ profiling of this and that personality type. Instead your employees attending our team building workshops will critically focus on getting results individually and collectively as an organisational team.
Keep in mind in your evaluation of our approach, that all these team building exercises are aimed at identifying areas for improvement (sore thumbs problems, hidden problems, lack of knowledge etc.) then developing a plan to realise the benefits of addressing shortcomings. This is the real team development process that benefits individuals, groups and the organisation.
Team Building Diagnostic Exercise Identify problems, cause and effect, benefits of attacking, then attack
An initial diagnostic team building 'blocks' exercise takes the form of a comprehensive questionnaire, which individual workshop members complete. This exercise will give a baseline on the core dynamics of effective team building that leads to performance improvement and individual employee growth.
The outcome from the exercise is a composite graph displaying the relative strengths and weaknesses of each of the 9 team building blocks. This starting profile is the first step in the team building workshop process.
To begin the exploration of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for improvement and threats to the organization, a start profile of the team building blocks manifest in the group is summarized. The example below shows one such profile in the form of a radar chart.
Team Building Exercises and Actives Performance reviews, projections, simulations and more…
Remember the aim of our approach to team building is to achieve in improvement in the way your staff view and do their work. Also, the goal is to inspire them to action so that your organisation runs more smoothly and your staff interactions (say dept. to dept, or hierarchically) improve.
Using input data from the workshop planning phase, delegates interpret key performance data, ‘where have we come from?’ ‘Where are we heading?’ ‘What caused…?’ ‘How did that…’
This contextual team building activity is powerful, much more so than monthly performance targets that take 'snapshots in time' and will often lead to a fundamental change in how performance is viewed, at all levels. In addition it can often reveal hidden problems.
Breakthrough evaluation activities
During a team building workshop, where appropriate, a number of evaluation activities can be deployed.
- Time series graphs of key performance indicators
Using time series graphs of key performance indicators and using the simplest of trending techniques delegates will fundamentally change their approach to performance management. This focuses team building on the main objective, performance improvement. Events in history can be fully explored and their affects on performance evaluated.
- Problem development time–line exercise
Any organizational problem has an history. Problems in the team building workshop are evaluated historically with this activity.
- Predicting the future exercise
This activity will assist in gaining agreement for the need to change. What is looked for is the negative consequences flowing from allowing a current unsatisfactory situation to ‘fester.’
- Exploration of change analysis activity
Designed to explore a problem in terms of what happened and when in some detail this exercise takes real workplace events and has the groups analyze past events and the effects on SIGs.
- Stakeholder needs analysis activity
A team building exercise that lets the group analyse their (and your) problem. How would they solve this (or that) particular problem, taking cognizance of all the dynamics, internal and external, they have explored. This activity greatly improves the problem solving capabilities of delegates and a greater awareness of the dynamics involved in making decisions.
Using an open systems model of the organization, role playing is simple to setup. During the preparation stage for the team building workshop, relevant special interest groups (or SIGs )are identified.
Output from the team building process, such as problems, challenges, opportunities, weaknesses etc. are evaluated from the differing perspectives of each SIG. The key during role playing, is role reversal, for instance rank and file employees role play senior management, then explain how they would handle situation x.
- Delegates will use role playing as a means of stimulating discussion, that is aimed at problems solving
- Provides individuals and the groups with insight into attitudes that may differ sharply from own
- It gives the delegates the chance to assume the personality of (to think and act like) another group; leading to better understanding
- Sometimes groups are able to explain cultural / hierarchical differences more clearly
- Can be used to seek out possible solutions to emotion laden problems
- Gives everyone involved a bigger picture of the relationships, processes and workings of the organization
Buzz sessions can be inter spaced through out the team building process to stimulate thought, discussion and add interest. These short sessions entail a guest speaker delivering a short presentation on a relevant subject. Such speakers can be experts in their field, they can be internal employees (QA manager for instance) or external guests from suppliers and or customers.
Site visits can be arranged and conducted prior to the workshop, during the workshop or post the workshop. They are used to develop organisational awareness to compare how the the organisation perceives itself internally and how it is perceived externally by suppliers and customers.
Site visits also develop better working relationships and improved problem solving capability. It brings together the concept of 'thinking outside the box' by visiting those who 'live and work outside the box'.'
- To relate theory to ‘real’ problems.
- To study something that cannot be brought into a classroom.
- To stimulate interest and concern.
- To demonstrate a course of action ‘in the field’ or in a work environment.
- To talk to other workers in their working environment.
- To find out details of how things are done.
- To study organizational cultures or environments.